Uniform TitleLife events and illness labels moderate the effects of trait negative affect on symptom perception
NameDunbar, Lisa M. (author), Leventhal, Howard (chair), Wilson, G. Terence (internal member), Contrada, Richard J. (internal member), Schneider, Stephen H. (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionObjective: The relationship of trait negative affect (NA) to symptom reporting is well established in the literature. Recent evidence suggests that this relationship may be moderated by illness representations, suggesting that trait NA leads to a "chronic accessibility of illness representations." Method: This paper examined the process through which trait NA may influence symptoms and illness behavior by examining the effect of life events, trait NA, and illness labels on illness specific symptom reporting, psychosomatic symptom reporting, health anxiety and functional limitations among 554 elderly community dwelling adults. Results: The results showed a significant triple interaction of life events, trait NA and illness labels on psychosomatic symptom reporting, and functional limitations due to symptoms. Follow up analyses showed that individuals who were high in trait NA and had an illness label, reported greater psychosomatic symptom severity and functional limitations due to these symptoms after non-illness related life events. Conclusions: As opposed to a universal relationship of trait NA to symptoms, these findings provide evidence for the hypothesis that trait NA activates illness representations directing attention to perception of symptoms.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 39-42).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.